Rob Phenix's Mysticus
December 3, 2004 - January 22, 2005
Exhibiting in the large, main gallery was Rob Phenix’s body of abstract paintings titled Mysticus. These paintings conveyed ambiguous symbols layered with sporadic emotion and formal qualities of line on a muted color palette. As Phenix stated, “This body of work was an attempt to simplify my subject matter and concentrate on the process of painting.”
With an intent to simplify the subject matter from earlier work, this work is deep and thought provoking. In regards to his new paintings, Rob says, "The subject matter has now been reduced to a greater level of purity of form and message. This level of purity raises the level of intrigue and allows me to question less and expresss more. And the more that is expressed the more mystery there is in the final outcome."
The symbolic imagery in Rob's paintings is comprised of drawn line, painted layers - one element that has been consistent throughout the history of Rob's work.
"This body of work began as a challenge to myself to break away from my previous exhaustive four year study that concentrated on pulling subject matter from contemporary daily events. The challenge was to greatly simplify the subject matter and still create something deep and thought provoking. Along the way, I threw out the random and intense color palette from the past and forced myself to use but only a few nature-inspired colors.
But one element is still with me and is not a mystery. These works continue to focus on merging line with brush. Not one on top of the other or one instead of the other, I am looking to embed the two within each other. By denying myself of certain elements of the past, I am able to concentrate more on process. I feel that the work becomes much more challenging, revealing and risky without the safety net of things from the past. And it is this that I am most proud of and afraid of."
-Rob Phenix, artist